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The Italian way to deal with stress, my three simple suggestion

Fight the stress with quality and beauty.

A lot of Italians are under big stress, the time of “Dolce vita” are gone with the crisis. In Italy, we have many resources from our culture, many Italians are enjoying life in spite of this hard times. I can tell you how I am able, some time, to manage stressful situation with simple actions and some little investment in quality of life.

1) Fight stress with the pizza “fatta in casa” ritual.

I have started cooking homemade pizza; I discovered this is one of the best therapies for stress and that it is fantastic for your mood too, but you need to understand the philosophy and to know its secrets.

To make a pizza “fatta in casa” you need to work physically with your hands to mix yeast with water and flour.
Kneading is not only a manual work, if you do it right, it is a very relaxing and ancient activity. Modern substitute for kneading relaxation is the stress ball, but the result are not the same. Then you need to wait patiently the rise of the dough and finally you need to work manually to shape it like a pizza.

One of the major pleasure of a homemade pizza start when you cook the pizza. In a few minutes, with a high temperature oven, the wonderful fragrance of the pizza will fill your house. This can really turn your day on a positive path!

Finally, if you use whole-wheat flour, high quality extra virgin olive oil, natural yeast and tomato, then you will eat one of the healthiest and best Italian food. Eating your pizza will be the best part of it, if you do it right! Obviously, it takes some time to learn how to do it right.

2) New high quality music to fight stress.

Music is an easier but less affordable method to fight stress, especially if you do it in the “Italian way”. Italy was the capital of music, in Italy was invented how to write music and was invented most of the classic musical instruments. Food and music were always the basic of our life in Italy; both must be at very high level for many Italians.

Many people forgot the benefit of music. Probably is the best to play music, but even if you don’t know how to play music, like me, you can have a huge benefit from music. I suggest this:

  • To get the best benefit from music you need to give a “new high quality sound” to your stressed brain. For me, a new song that I like, played in a good HIFI music system, is a “new high quality sound” that heal my stress. Some time it is even better with some old songs that we loved a lot and we had almost forgotten.
  • Listen to music without doing stressful activity. If I do a stressful activity with the music, I get more stressed. For example, if I need to work under stress, the most wonderful music could become a disturbing noise that I want to stop.
  • Sing and dance if you can. If I can also sing and dance, it is the best for me to relax and to feel better, even when I am alone.

I invested some money in a very good home cinema with two big loudspeakers. A cheaper solution is to buy a good headphone, unfortunately, headphones, after some time, become stressful. Quality is the key, but quality without passion and sentiment don’t work. You need to feel the music.

3) Fight stress with sport and beauty.

Italy is the country of beauty; nature, buildings, dresses, food etc. are wonderful in Italy. If you do sport in the beauty of nature or in wonderful Italian cities, your stress will disappear and your happiness will start to rise! We are usually lucky with the weather.
If I can, I only do sport outdoor in beautiful contest. My bike is beautiful, and is part of the pleasure to live the beauty and the sport together.

The concept of beauty is very personal. For example, I find out that the actor Robin Williams was in love with custom-made steel bicycles, colorfully painted by hand. He was in love of classic race bikes, especially the one from the Italian master builder Dario Pegoretti. Even a weld joint on steel can be a piece of art. Personally, I prefer innovations, like carbon fiber frames, they are flexible where it is needed and very light.

Hence, spend some time to find your concept of beauty and a contest that is beautiful for you; possibly spend some time and money to find beautiful sport instruments. In this way, doing sport will be a joy. In my experience, not only your stress will go away but also you will feel probably happy!

The weather variable.

In winter, the ancient Romans were used to go in to the thermal baths, ironically in Italy now it is too expensive and difficult to fight stress like them, but in Germany, it is more affordable and common. Probably it is because they have more bad weather :-)

The research of the beauty and quality to find a balance obviously it is not only in the Italian culture. I prefer to make a pizza then to grow a bonsai. Anyway, I like also gardening :-)

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Enrico Filippucci
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